Sunday, September 19, 2010

Back to Balbec

Reading Proust again!  We are in The Cities of the Plain, and the narrator and Albertine are hanging out at the seashore, at first before the high season, and now during  high season.  The Verdurins have rented a house along the coast with a fab view of the ocean.  A train is taking "The Little Clan" to the Verdurin's Wednesday dinner party.  

I have to confess in all my Proust readings I do not recall the Verdurins renting a summer house in the Balbec neighborhood.  I'm really enjoying this part of the book, now that YET ANOTHER endless reception has come and gone. The Guermantes have become bores.  I'm sure the Verdurin's party will be much more interesting.  Mme. Verdurin is a real piece of work, a wonderful character, which is to say a character that is not very nice.  The milk of human kindness does not run in her veins.  I am hoping for some conflict and some fireworks and maybe someone will be expelled from The Little Clan.  

It was a long slow slog through The Guermante's Way to this point.  Albertine flirted like crazy with St. Loup.  I couldn't have liked it more.

The Other Odette, licking her chops at the thought of scandal, disgrace and some more hanky-panky.

1 comment:

Ann O'Dyne said...

while searching for a Hammett connection, I found the information on Harold Pinter's screenplay for 'Remembrance ...'

also this nasty moment -

"Gertrude had great natural charm, tremendous charisma. Marvelous head. Those wonderful flashing eyes. A deep, firm voice. So I couldn't help but be very much impressed by her at times, except that often she'd erupt with crazy ideas. She thought Hitler was a great man ... this before the war, of course, but how a Jewess could be attracted to such a notion at any time is difficult to understand. She was certainly a woman of strong opinions -- indeed to the point of megalomania. She felt she had influenced everyone. We had a big fight one day when I mentioned I was reading Proust. She said, "How can you read junk like that? Don't you know, J., that Proust and Joyce both copied their work from The Making of Americans?"